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Longest-Tenured Reporter at Tampa Station to Retire

In ABC, Florida, Leaving the Biz, Tampa-St. Petersburg on May 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

Don Germaise (Courtesy: WFTS)

Don Germaise, reporter for Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., ABC affiliate WFTS, has announced he will retire from the station after 18 years.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Germaise was the first reporter hired at WFTS in 1994, shortly after the news department debuted there.

The 53-year-old reporter says the decision to leave the business was his own, citing that he wants to spend time with his family.

But he still remembers his first story for the ABC affiliate.

From the article:

“All I remember is, it was a story about a child molester in Manatee County,” Germaise said, noting he and his photographer had to rush to the station’s studios, then in Clearwater, to deliver the report because they had no satellite trucks. “[Anchor] Brendan McLaughlin mispronounced my name in the first story…We still joke about it.”

Locals know him as the man who covered so many hurricanes, his “hunker down” expression became a catchphrase in Tampa.

“There’s no replacing a Don Germaise,” WFTS news director Doug Culver said in an email to the staff.

Germaise looks back on his journey with satisfaction.

“I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to work,” he said in the article. “Now I feel I owe it to the community to give back.”

His last day is May 25.

We at South TV News wish you all the best, Don!

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